One common concern many accident victims have is whether they can afford an attorney.
They have some sense that lawyers charge high fees, and they worry that they won’t be able to afford one because they have no money.
Fortunately, personal injury lawyers in Wyoming will work on contingency.
In this article, we will explain what contingency fee agreements are and discuss the lawyer contingency fee average.
Just What Are Contingency Fees?
Contingency fees are also called “no fee no win” agreements.
They mean pretty much what they sound like.
A lawyer will not charge any upfront fees but will instead only get paid if they win your case.
If successful, an attorney will take a percentage of your settlement or jury award. If the lawyer does not win the case, then the client does not owe their lawyer any fees.
Why Would a Client Like Contingency Fees?
Contingency fees work for both clients and attorneys.
The client gets a top-flight attorney at his or her disposal with no upfront cost.
A lawyer is a huge asset to have when negotiating a settlement and dealing with insurers.
By using a lawyer, you can focus on your physical recovery, confident that the lawyer is handling the legal issues.
Contingency fees also create an incentive for a lawyer to get as big a settlement as possible, because the more the client gets, the more the attorney takes home, too.
Lawyers also have an incentive to not take cases that do not have merit because the chances of being successful are so low.
This fact encourages lawyers to be very upfront and honest with their clients about their chances of success.
What is the Average Contingency Fee for a Personal Injury Lawyer?
A lawyer and client will negotiate the contingency fee agreement.
Under the Wyoming Rules of Professional Conduct, all fee agreements must be “reasonable.”
We have found that the average lawyer contingency fee is usually 33-45% of the settlement or jury verdict, depending on when the case ends. These percentages are widespread and considered reasonable in the legal profession.
For example, if your case settles early for $90,000, then your attorney takes a third, or $30,000.
If your case goes to trial, then lawyers usually get a higher percentage to offset the amount of work required in a trial.
If a jury awards you $100,000, then your lawyer may get $40,000.
Are There Other Costs to Hiring a Lawyer?
Yes. Bringing a lawsuit includes a host of fees, such as filing fees, court reporter fees, and deposition costs.
These are normal expenses for lawsuits, and you will probably incur them if your case goes to trial.
Talk about how you will pay the costs for the lawsuit. Some lawyers will send you a bill each month and expect you to pay the costs as they come due.
Others will wait until the end of the case and deduct the costs from the final settlement. Each lawyer is different.
If you are worried about costs, talk with an attorney about how to keep them low.
Can I Think Over Whether I Like the Contingency Agreement?
You aren’t required to hire a lawyer. Every lawyer should give you a written copy of the contingency fee agreement for you to read and sign.
If you need a day to read it and think it over, tell the lawyer. Nobody can force you to work with an attorney.
However, a signed contingency fee agreement is a binding contract, so you can’t change your mind once your case settles.
How Can You Maximize Your Financial Settlement?
Contingency fee lawyers are every bit as interested as their clients in getting the best outcome possible. We have found that clients can help their cases enormously by following these suggestions:
- Let your attorney handle all communications with insurance adjusters and other interested parties to the dispute.
- Get your attorney all the requested information as soon as possible. For example, if your lawyer needs to see medical records, don’t wait weeks to obtain a copy.
- Follow your doctor’s advice for getting well. If you don’t, then you might be accused of aggravating your injuries.
- If you think your own negligence contributed to an accident, then tell your attorney upfront. Your lawyer can work to minimize your own negligence.
Speak to a Wyoming Contingency Fee Agreement Attorney
Platte River Law has represented many people on contingency over the years, and we are proud of our representation. For help with your case, contact us today.
We will gladly meet for a confidential consultation.